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Posts by Daniel McGuigan

FutureNow Post
Monday, Oct. 13, 2008 at 7:27 am

Tweaking Internal Site-Searches into Buying Opportunities

October 13th, 2008

If you sold Widgets, and a Widget-buying customer walks into your store, can’t find any Widgets on her own, and when she asks what aisle they’re in you remain silent, would you fire yourself? Maybe contribute to the Darwin Awards?

Think of your site’s search box as a last chance to get a visitor to take action on your site.  A majority of visitors will only use internal search as a last resort when they are unable to find what they…

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FutureNow Post
Wednesday, Jul. 9, 2008 at 5:28 am

Optimize Your Copy for Skimming and Scanning

July 9th, 2008

Bad Landing Pages from Sean DSouzaCopy is one of the most crucial elements of any E-commerce site. And while most discussions of Web copy focus on creating great copy, it’s also important to ensure your copy is formatted for the online world.

Great copy that comes in dense blocks of text often never gets the chance to convert visitors because it never gets read.

Most Web pages – as well as the copy on those pages – are skimmed and scanned before they’re read. Web visitors want to…

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FutureNow Article
Thursday, Apr. 3, 2008

Big Impact, Small Changes on Amazon

April 3rd, 2008

image of Amazon boxYou probably didn’t notice, but Amazon just made it easier to quickly glance at the product you want and get all the information you need in order to buy.

All it took was few simple changes to the text on their product pages. By adjusting the size, color and font of the text and removing unnecessary words, they’ve cleaned up the product pages and made them easier to scan and skim.

Here’s what’s new:

• Font & Word Choice — Larger, color headline.…

...continue to read "Big Impact, Small Changes on Amazon"

FutureNow Article
Thursday, Mar. 6, 2008

The Good, The Bad & The Pay-Per-Click Ugly

March 6th, 2008

A few months ago, I showed how Dell had bought a PPC ad for “bestbuy Sony DSC-W80,” and although they were smart to buy this highly-targeted search term, there was no follow-through on the landing page.

Bryan Eisenberg bought the camera last year and was so happy with its performance that he’s been spreading the word around the office ever since. After doing a routine Google search, we noticed — unsurprisingly — that there are a lot of bidders for the term…

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FutureNow Post
Monday, Feb. 25, 2008 at 4:30 pm

70% of Online Shoppers Read Multiple Product Reviews

February 25th, 2008

An e-tailing group study commissioned by PowerReviews has further revealed the necessity for customer-generated product reviews on e-commerce sites.

It seems the majority of online shoppers want to hear what people like them have to say about the product they’re researching. Almost 70% of customers looked at more than 4 reviews before making a purchase.

The study also gives a sense of how long visitors spend reading reviews before their purchase (50% spend over 10 minutes) and found that most people read reviews once…

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FutureNow Article
Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2008

Old Navy’s New (E-commerce) Tricks

January 15th, 2008

old_navy.jpgRecently, Old Navy redesigned their site, adding a lot of value with a few changes. The new site provides several good examples on how to improve e-commerce usability by focusing on ways to reduce friction in the customer experience.

So, let’s take a look at some of the changes to their product pages and shopping cart to get a better sense of what they’ve done a good job of so far, and share a few ideas for other changes worth testing…


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FutureNow Post
Thursday, Dec. 6, 2007 at 3:27 pm

Just a Bit Off Target With Pay-Per-Click

December 6th, 2007

Even giant e-tailers like can miss the mark now and then. Despite big budgets, keeping track of everything can be a nightmare to manage. But if you’re going to place Pay-Per-Click (PPC) ads, it’s absolutely critical to follow though and check the links. The customer experience should be as effortless as possible, and if PPC ads don’t bring the visitors where they intended to go, they’re just one click of the “back” button away from your competitors. And if you…

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FutureNow Article
Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2007

Dell Loses its Marketing Scents

October 31st, 2007

What if you knew exactly what visitors were looking for when they came to your site. Say they’ve even told you the exact model they’re looking for. All they want is to get some details about this product and possibly make a purchase.

Pay-Per-Click (PPC) ads allow you to know the directions visitors are heading, and can help you plan and optimize the experience in order to guide them along their buying process. PPC gives you a great advantage by allowing…

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FutureNow Post
Friday, Oct. 5, 2007 at 10:19 am

When Will My Order Arrive?

October 5th, 2007

That’s a question a lot of sites have trouble answering. They likely know the answer, but the way in which they present the information is vague — if they present it at all. does an exceptional job of answering this question in its shopping cart.

They give customers the information they need, stated clearly and in the visitor’s language. “About how long before I get my package?” Great question — and they’ve already asked it for you. Estimated shipping and delivery times…

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FutureNow Post
Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2007 at 4:25 pm — A New Low for Drop-down Menus

August 29th, 2007‘s site relaunch gives us another great example of how drop-down menus interfere with a site’s usability. For instance, the drop-down menu for the “Dogs” category goes down past the bottom of the page. Those who aren’t proficient in using the scroll wheel on their mouse won’t even be able to get to the options presented below the fold.

When designing for 1024 x 768 resolution, don’t assume that the browser window is completely open.

There are a couple of easy fixes…

...continue to read " — A New Low for Drop-down Menus"

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